Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Afro or not, Heat forward Michael Beasley(notes) isn't a fan of being called "Tito Jackson" by TNT analyst Charles Barkley.

"It's just disrespect," Beasley told the Miami Herald over the weekend. "No disrespect to Tito Jackson. But the way Charles used it, it makes us feel disrespected, a little underrated."

Barkley, of course, referred to Dwyane Wade's(notes) supporting cast as a "bunch of Tito Jacksons" — the goofy, punch line Jackson of the American R&B/pop super group.

But while Beasley might not appreciate the deprecating "Tito" label, that hasn't stopped Heat coach Erik Spoelstra from having a little fun with it. In fact, he's started using The Jackson 5's 1970 hit "ABC" as the soundtrack to some of the Miami Heat's scouting videos. Bloody brilliant.

"This type of thing is playful, so we've joked about it," Spoelstra said Tuesday night, before his team faced the Minnesota Timberwolves at AmericanAirlines Arena. "I've used it on some films and I've talked about with the group a little bit.

"Ultimately, an 82-game season is long. Sometimes there are different ways to inspire players and it might be a quote."

But Spoelstra said amid the injury absence of guard Dwyane Wade, it is something that also should resonate with his players.

"If you truly dislike the criticism," Spoelstra said, "and you don't like what people are saying about the quote-unquote supporting cast, particularly while Dwyane is out, well, if you want to shut them up, the critics, you do it by winning. That's the bottom line."

Spoelstra might be a Pat Riley disciple, but that's a Phil Jackson move if I've ever read one.

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